Why is Retinol not good for Pregnant and Breastfeeding women?

We're Unveiling the Science of Why Retinol Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy

At Grounded Body, we're dedicated to offering skincare solutions that prioritize safety, particularly during significant life stages like pregnancy. With a commitment to holistic wellness, we delve into the scientific landscape surrounding skincare ingredients, shedding light on why retinol, a beloved anti-aging compound, should be sidestepped during pregnancy.

Deciphering Retinol:

Retinol, a derivative of vitamin A, has long been hailed for its ability to revitalize the skin, diminish wrinkles, and enhance overall texture. Its mechanism involves stimulating collagen production and accelerating cell turnover, yielding a smoother, more youthful complexion. Despite its efficacy for many, caution flags arise concerning retinol use during pregnancy, primarily due to its potential fetal harm.

The Perils of Retinol in Pregnancy:

Extensive research underscores the risks associated with retinol exposure during pregnancy, whether orally ingested or topically applied in concentrated forms. Recognized as teratogenic, retinol has the capacity to induce birth defects when encountered during pivotal phases of fetal development.

Scientific Grounds to Sidestep Retinol During Pregnancy:

1. Birth Defects: Notable studies such as the work by Lammer et al. (1985) and the findings of Källén et al. (2011) emphasize the heightened risk of congenital malformations—ranging from central nervous system anomalies to cardiac and facial abnormalities—associated with retinol exposure in utero, particularly during embryonic organogenesis.

2. Developmental Delays: Investigations spearheaded by West et al. (1990) and discussed in the research of Nau et al. (2002) spotlight retinol's propensity to impede typical embryonic growth, leading to cognitive impairments and developmental setbacks in offspring. Such studies underscore retinol's interference with neuronal circuitry formation and synaptic networking within the developing brain.

3. Miscarriage Susceptibility: The research elucidated by Werler et al. (1989) and Shaw et al. (1996) accentuates the elevated risk of miscarriage attributed to heightened retinol exposure, particularly during the initial gestational stages. Retinol's interference with fetal implantation and placental maturation underscores its potential role in pregnancy loss.

4. Toxicological Implications: While topical retinol products are generally deemed safe for non-pregnant individuals, the study by Kragballe et al. (1992) warns of potential systemic absorption risks during pregnancy, heightening concerns over maternal and fetal toxicity. Safeguarding Skin Health During Pregnancy:

During pregnancy, prioritising skincare regimens devoid of potentially harmful ingredients like retinol is paramount. Opting for pregnancy-safe formulations enriched with vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and botanical extracts ensures effective skincare without jeopardising fetal well-being.

At Grounded Body, our array of pregnancy-safe skincare solutions is meticulously curated to nurture and protect skin integrity during this transformative phase. From our gentle moisturizers to hydrating serums, each product is thoughtfully formulated to deliver efficacious results sans the risks.


While retinol may wield undeniable benefits in skincare, its avoidance during pregnancy is a prudent choice given the substantiated risks to fetal development. By unpacking the scientific underpinnings surrounding retinol's pregnancy-related hazards, individuals can make informed decisions safeguarding both their own well-being and that of their unborn child. Grounded Body remains steadfast in its commitment to safety, offering skincare solutions that prioritize health and vitality throughout life's journey.

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